Friday, February 17, 2012

Holy progress, Batman!

Last summer, when I finished the first draft of Book 1 in the YA trilogy, I plunged right into a draft of Book 2. And then, once it was on the page, I ignored it.

A lot.

Over the holidays, I tortured myself on the plane by reading it (ah, the wonders of my Kindle!). It wasn't quite as bad as I'd feared, but it was nowhere near where I wanted it to be.

Still, I didn't dive in right away. I was basking in the newness of signing with my agent, and I was frankly a bit buried by my increased teaching responsibilities (didn't I say I was going to do it part time?). So I kept ignoring the project.

Can I tell you a secret? Revisions scare me. Revising means I have to give up the fantasy that my work is brilliant and amazing, and I have to acknowledge the reality that good writing takes time and effort and proper grammar. It's hard to look at my work with a critical eye, because sometimes all I see are the flaws. But sometimes, like this month, I see ways to make it better.

I've been revising and reconnecting and completely rewriting the climax of Book 2 for the past few weeks. And you know what? This afternoon, I finally have a solid first draft (funny that I thought it was solid back in July).

I've sent it to my dear Beta readers, and once more to my e-reader. My plans for the rest of the month are to read through it on the Kindle with my notebook open beside me, making copious editorial notes. Once I've made those changes, I'll send it on to Kat and see what she says.

I'm not done, but I'm a lot farther in my process than I was a month ago, and that means it's a good thing.

What are your tips for surviving personal revisions?

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